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How Do Cats Really Feel When You Work From Home? Cat Feelings Explained (Vet-Reviewed)

Written by: Crystal Uys

Last Updated on May 27, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

How Do Cats Really Feel When You Work From Home? Cat Feelings Explained (Vet-Reviewed)


Dr. Luqman Javed Photo


Dr. Luqman Javed

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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happy young caucasian woman with her cat using laptop at home

The COVID-19 pandemic made working from home more common. Many people have had to learn to make adjustments to new work habits and lifestyles. Consequently, pets have also had to get used to spending more time with their parents.

Cats may have a reputation for being introverted and preferring solitude. However, many social cats enjoy being around people, and cats can form strong bonds with their humans. So, regardless of your cat’s personality and temperament, there’s a good chance that they enjoy having you home with them. Here are some ways to create a harmonious space for you and your cat as you work from home.

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Do Cats Like Their Parents Working From Home?

Research shows that cats are capable of forming strong bonds with humans.1 Although they may display different behaviors, they’re just as capable as dogs when it comes to forming secure social bonds. Many cats will prefer to interact and play with humans over food and toys.

So, it’s safe to assume that cats can enjoy and prefer having their parents work from home. However, as with most things, there are some caveats.

First, cats are often perceived as creatures of habit that thrive on routines. People believe that routines give pets a sense of security by providing predictability, and pets aren’t left to wonder when they’ll get fed or enjoy some playtime. And therefore, sudden disruptions in routines can cause stress. However, this interpretation may need some clarification when it comes to cats. Cats are inherently territorial, and familiarity with their territory is definitely preferred over uncertainty. That being said, cats can definitely adjust to your presence and wouldn’t necessarily freak out if you stayed at home to work. 

It’s also important to respect your cat’s natural behaviors and preferences while you’re home. For example, adult cats can sleep for around 12–16 hours a day at times, and they tend to be less active during the day. So, it’s very probable that your cat gets most of their sleep during the day when it’s quiet and they’re home alone. Having you at home can suddenly disrupt the peace and quiet that your cat was used to, and they may not be able to get as much sleep with more noise.

If you notice a negative change in your cat’s behavior after you start working from home, it’s most likely necessary to make some changes so that you two can co-exist as respectful office mates.

How to Work From Home With Your Cat

As someone who works remotely, I’ve had to make several changes to ensure that my cat stays happy and stress-free while I work. These changes were fairly minor and easy to implement, but they proved to be effective.

The first thing I did was set up my workstation in a more secluded section of my home and would take phone calls and video conference calls at my workstation. I did this to prevent being loud and disruptive in a more central space in my home, which could cause stress on my cat. I also put headphones on during calls because my cat can be a bit shy, and strangers’ voices can confuse her.

I’ve also set up a cozy cat bed in a separate room so that my cat has a quiet place to retreat to when she wants to nap. I’ve placed another bed near my workstation so that my cat can keep me company whenever she wants.

One benefit of working from home with pets is that they can help you establish a healthy routine. Both my cat and dog remind me to take breaks in their own ways. My dog needs to be let out of the house regularly for potty breaks, and both pets also consistently make me walk away from work for a few minutes to play or give them treats.

There are many benefits to taking regular breaks during work. So, it’s nice to get interrupted throughout the day for a few minutes and spend time with my pets.

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There’s really no reason for your cat to dislike you working from home unless you’re being very disruptive. Making small changes can help your cat adjust to this new lifestyle and working from home can strengthen the bond you share.

Featured Photo Credit: Fusso_pics, Shutterstock

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